I spent the weekend at a lovely spa in New Mexico with my three wonderful friends Vicki, Barbara and Sheila and flew home yesterday. Now normally when I am flying with my wonderful partner Mary I have to sit in the middle seat because she requires the aisle (and always points out that I am welcome to take the opposite aisle which I won’t do because I want to be sitting next to her to hold her hand if something scary happens. Plus we can’t watch movies together on my laptop if I’m across the aisle from her.)

Anyway, the New Mexico trip involved three flight legs and on the first two I sat in the aisle (once next to a one-year old which many people would think is insane, including my wonderful partner Mary, but I felt that a one-year old would not be hogging my space and if she did (which she did a little) it would only be charming and not annoying.) So perhaps because I was overly tired and my brain was addled, I had this BRILLIANT idea on my final flight home out of Las Vegas. I could see that the plane was full and I said to myself, “I will take this opportunity to take a window seat!” So I chose a window seat and there was a nice small man in the aisle seat. Mind you, I made this brilliant decision after inquiring and being told that the flight was full. Once I was sitting next to the window I began to wonder if perhaps I had made a tactical error. It took, oh, less than a minute, for this to be confirmed when a very large man said to the nice small man, “Is anyone sitting there?” – pointing to the middle seat – and the small man said, “You are!” so cheerfully, which, of course, I hated him for.

So this is a “pet peeve” that I have mentioned before, and undoubtedly I will mention it again in the future. The large man did what almost EVERY man who has ever sat down next to me on a plane did. He settled in and proceeded to spread his legs into my area and also attempted to take the entire arm rest for himself. I, of course, anticipated this latter move and kept my arm on the armrest, resting against his large hairy arm. This tactic allowed me a modicum of my allotted space until we were allowed to take out our “personal electronic devices”, which is when I had to pull out my laptop so I could watch a movie – The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio, more on that later. As soon as I reached down for the laptop, my neighbor took over the entire armrest for himself and when I emerged with my laptop I could barely even move my right arm to operate the mouse with the amount of room afforded to me. I tried to battle him for the space but he was an excellent foe and would not budge an inch. Until, that is, his coke arrived at which point he had to move his arm and I settled mine in quite nicely and did not move it the remainder of the flight even when I had a terrible itch!

Now, aside from the fact that if I had chosen an aisle seat at least one side of me would have had some breathing room, I also was terrified whenever I looked out the window. So the moral of this story? Don’t try new things! If you’re not a lesbian and you’re thinking, oh, no, the moral of this story is lesbians really do hate men, I would beg to differ. I only hate men when they are sitting next to me on a plane and hogging more than their fair share of space.

Now about the movie, The Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio. I chose to watch it because I love Julianne Moore and I found it to be a very good movie. I also realized, when I picked up my Entertainment Weekly once I was required to turn off my “personal electronic device”, that Terry Ryan, the author of the original memoir the movie is based on, died recently, on May 17 at the age of 60. At the end of the movie, there is a shot of Ms. Ryan and Julianne Moore and I took one look and said to myself, “Sister,” and then (by now I was off the plane and happily and comfortably at home) googled Ms. Ryan and learned that indeed she was a lesbian with a partner of 25 years to whom she was married on Valentine’s Day of 2004 by Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco. She sounded like a really lovely person. Click here to read Ms. Ryan’s obituary.